Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Haehnle Bird Sancuary


This week I decided to explore a new (to me) bird sancuary over near Jackson Michigan. I’d heard vague things about it over the years, that it was filled with migrating birds, particularly sandhill cranes.

This path leads down to a space where lectures are held.

Every year I meant to get there, either in the spring when the birds were coming back or the fall when they were heading out. Every year time gets away from me.

The day was beautiful, with sunshine and a breeze kicking leaves out of their trees.

So this year I was determined and I did some research before I drove over there. Seems the migration period would be late September to the end of October. I was cutting it pretty close.

Heading away from the wetlands and into the woods.

The website also told me to be there at sunrise or sunset when the birds were moving from or back to their perches for the night. So I had a plan.

But you know how it goes with plans. I got a later start in the morning than I had planned, and it was later in October than optimal too. On the hour and a bit drive I did see a huge flock of sandhills in a field, about 2 miles from my house, but I didn’t stop for pictures because I was going to a bird sanctuary.

A few trees were hanging on to their color.

When I got to Haehnle the parking lot was a muddy mess. Leaves covered everything but it was obvious there were huge muddy holes that you wouldn’t want to drive through. I turned around and backed into a spot up next to a fence where I had a straight shot getting out.

As I left my car to begin exploring I did hear some cranes flying, but it was already almost 9:30, really long past sunrise. There was one flock of geese that flew over, but nothing really special.

In a meadow the sun glinted off the dried weeds.

So I decided to just walk the 1.5 mile trail and not worry about finding birds.

It was a pretty trail, that started out skirting the wetlands where I could imagine thousands of cranes visiting. Then it turned left into the woods.

Walking on all those leaves was fun.

There were still very beautiful colors in a few of the towering trees. The trail meandered through a meadow and then back into the woods. I didn’t see another person until I was almost back to the car. This mother and her two children were enjoying the sunshine and the crisp autumn air.

Taking a walk.

All in all this was quite a disapointment, but I think I will try again in the spring, maybe go at the right time of year and earlier in the day. I figure most of the disappointment was my own making.

The details were beautiful, I just had to look for them.

And the drive over there was often spectacular, roads through golden tree tunnels. You’ll have to imagine those as there was nowhere to safely stop.

This place could be interesting at the right time of year.

Regardless of the lack of birds, I can’t complain about a pretty walk in the woods. And on the way home I found a couple barns.

At the exit where I stopped to get gas.

Because what’s an adventure without a barn?

Not sure what a barn sanctuary is. Maybe I should have explored there.

Why, no adventure at all!

I don’t know what this was, but it was cool.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

23 thoughts on “Haehnle Bird Sancuary

  1. You got down on your knees for that ‘walking on these leaves was fun’ photo? What a great shot. The photo of the sun glinting off the leaves is beautiful, Dawn. It all looks pretty, and you got barns! Not a bad day after all.


    • Well pretty close, but mostly I put the camera down there. I found out my right knee doesn’t want to get that close to the ground any more. Tested it again yesterday with Katie at her #1 park and it screamed in annoyance…so no more getting on the ground for me. At least for awhile.


  2. Even without the birds, it’s a fun adventure to go out on a sunny day, be in nature, and see nice red barns.


  3. Glad to hear you got some good pawtographs. As fur birds, the two of us love to chase them.


  4. A beautiful place with plenty to see, even if it wasn’t cranes. I especially like the pattern of the leaf.


  5. What a beautiful place! It’s good you saw some cranes on the way. Whenever anyone tells me to be somewhere at dawn, I think I’ll just avoid the execution. I might make dusk, though! And I scrolled down through several posts–your postcards are fabulous. I thought about send postcards, too, but haven’t done it. Somehow I think I still have the opportunity to send a good number if I start…


  6. Glad you enjoyed your walk in the woods anyway. The best laid plans of mice and men… Isn’t it always fun to just see a place you’ve never visited before? That can be worth it in itself.


  7. You always have adventures. The cool pic is of Buttonbush seed pods. The bush grows well in wet areas. Everything about the plant is toxic to horses and livestock.


  8. I understand how disappointed you are that you didn’t get to see the birds you set out for, but you got some beautiful shots anyway — and what’s not to like about a nice walk in the woods?? I love those glittery weeds, and the barn sanctuary, and the tall golden trees, and the colored version of that leaf’s veining. And now that you know when and where this sanctuary is, you’ll be able to go back in September and find those birdies!


    • Yes, I’ll go back in the spring when supposedly the place will be swarming for incoming cranes. We’ll see. I don’t think the parking lot will support much more than 4 cars, so when it’s busy with birds I doubt there will be anywhere to park.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The paths in the first three pictures looked so inviting! I love walking on fallen leaves, too. The sound they make is music to my ears. Thanks for sharing this lovely outing, it was a joy to see, even without the birds.


  10. I bet you were disappointed that there were no birds… looks like you still have Fall! 🙂


    • I was. And yes we had fall up till yesterday when it got really cold and we had 40-50 mph winds that took most of the leaves (and many branches too). But later this week we’ll be 60 again, so I can get the last of the yardwork done. Maybe. Or just go for another walk somewhere.


  11. Lovely views even if you missed the early morning birds. Just being in a new place is invigorating!


  12. Thank you for sharing your much awaited adventure with us. It is lovely. And that barn!


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